This paper describes the AIRS Science Team Version 5 retrieval algorithm in terms of its three most significant improvements over the methodology used in the AIRS Science Team Version 4 retrieval algorithm. Improved physics in Version 5 allows for use of AIRS clear column radiances in the entire 4.3 micron CO2 absorption band in the retrieval of temperature profiles T(p) during both day and night. Tropospheric sounding 15 micron CO2 observations are now used primarily in the generation of clear column radiances .R(sub i) for all channels. This new approach allows for the generation of more accurate values of .R(sub i) and T(p) under most cloud conditions. Secondly, Version 5 contains a new methodology to provide accurate case-by-case error estimates for retrieved geophysical parameters and for channel-by-channel clear column radiances. Thresholds of these error estimates are used in a new approach for Quality Control. Finally, Version 5 also contains for the first time an approach to provide AIRS soundings in partially cloudy conditions that does not require use of any microwave data. This new AIRS Only sounding methodology, referred to as AIRS Version 5 AO, was developed as a backup to AIRS Version 5 should the AMSU-A instrument fail. Results are shown comparing the relative performance of the AIRS Version 4, Version 5, and Version 5 AO for the single day, January 25, 2003. The Goddard DISC is now generating and distributing products derived using the AIRS Science Team Version 5 retrieval algorithm. This paper also described the Quality Control flags contained in the DISC AIRS/AMSU retrieval products and their intended use for scientific research purposes.